woman backlit by the sun

When Women Talk About Porn – Part 1

When I set out to tackle the topic of how women feel about their partner’s porn use, I never could have anticipated the response I would get. So many women, dear, smart, and amazing women, were eager to share their heart-wrenching stories with me. Some stories end with healing, and others end with the destruction of a marriage. No story is easy. There are no quick fixes or easy answers. In this series, we will explore the complicated, often devastating relationship between women, their partners, and porn. Starting here: how does porn affect the emotional connection of two people in a committed relationship? All names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of the brave women who have shared their hearts here. While these stories are painful and hard, I would encourage leaders to not lose heart. There is hope for ultimate healing, and nothing is too big for our God to handle.

“I never once felt like he honored me. He always looked at other women, in every capacity. That addiction of his became the most revealing reality of every insecurity I have ever felt. No matter how many people tried to convince me that it had nothing to do with me, and was his sickness-I could never release responsibility. I could never let go of the guilt and shame of never being enough. My heart will always ache for what could have been to be married to a man that wasn’t addicted to porn/sex. My heart died, far before our marriage did.” -Shana

“That sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach never goes away though. Every time we talk about it, I’m in tears. I ask him to talk to whoever our current pastor is and supposedly he does, but I don’t think he ever talks to them about porn and the severity. This wasn’t the life I wanted. I had clear goals to marry my best friend, live overseas, and love people. Porn has stolen so much. It’s not all about sex. It’s stolen intimacy for sure, but it’s also stolen dreams and trust.” -Jordan

Learn about our Products for Churches

“Porn has been the biggest thief of intimacy, trust and connection in our relationship. It has led him down roads and stolen things from us that we’ll never get back. God is our restorer and redeemer, but the consequences of sin are real and ever present.” -Alice

“I should fight harder to bring it up again. It comes up every year or two. But when it does, it makes him feel bad and me feel worse, and doesn’t seem to do anything to move us forward. Usually we end up feeling less connected for awhile, which leads to less intimacy for us (physical and otherwise), and then it makes my insecurities worse. So instead… we typically avoid the topic completely. He pretends not to look at porn, and I pretend not to know what’s going on. The less I think about it, the less I obsess over it. So I avoid thinking about it, talking about it, dealing with it- as much as I can, anyway- to avoid spiraling and letting those feelings of “not enough” make me worry that someday me not being enough will lead to something worse, like infidelity.” -Kiera

“My husband’s porn use devastated me for many reasons. I felt inadequate physically and sexually, and also felt that at a deeper level, I just wasn’t exciting or interesting enough to keep his attention.” -Janice

“I wanted to burn the computer, the house, and the whole world the first time I discovered it. It was in his favor that he wasn’t home. I calmed down by the time I had to pick him up, and I was so compassionate, understanding, and willing to support in any way I could. That continued to be the pattern the following few times. But then he told me he was never going to give it up because it was his business, not mine. It spiraled out of control, along with domestic violence. The marriage ended as quick as it started. I never felt like I could measure up. We had been married for half a second and he was demanding sexual acts I wasn’t okay with, (and bless, hadn’t even heard of), but to him, it was normal and expected because of porn. It was just plain exhausting.” -Alicia

“Porn is a marriage killer. I found out six years in, but I knew that it’d been an issue before we were married. He had lied to me since then telling me that marriage had fixed it. So I found out and I was devastated. It’s made all my trauma come back up to bite me. I feel like: I’m not enough, I’m ugly, I’m fat, I’m worthless. This is all my fault. No matter how much I hear the truth, no matter how long we go without any issues, this doesn’t leave. He takes what feels like too long in the shower, he’s late getting home, etc etc it takes everything I have not to panic. I’m shaken at my foundation. Nothing feels safe. And when you lose the person you’re supposed to tell everything to, you lose your person, who can you tell? Who is safe? Answer: no one.” -Sharonda.

The Common Thread

These women’s thoughts and reflections were just the tip of the iceberg. They were surprisingly eager to speak openly on such a personal, painful topic in the hopes that they might be able to help others who are struggling. Their words were, quite honestly, heart wrenching to hear. These women range in age from their twenties to their fifties. Some are newly-weds, some are grandmothers, and some are divorcees. And yet the common thread of having a partner with a porn addiction seems to be:

  • Broken trust
  • Lack of intimacy
  • Damaged self image
  • Feelings of helplessness

If you are a pastor or ministry leader, I pray that you won’t allow this topic to go unaddressed in your congregation. And don’t be discouraged! There is help and training available to you. Healing is possible. Get equipped to effectively minister to your people today.

If you are a partner of an addict, I hope you will feel less alone. I hope you will understand that countless other women have stood in your shoes before, and that they are holding space for you.

And if you are an addict reading this series, I know that these stories may be hard to stomach. These truths hurt, but I also hope that you will not feel condemned. There is always hope. Compassionate, effective help is available to you. Reach out today.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *